Goddess Durga Devi is worshipped during Durga Navaratri on the seventh day, which is called ‘Durgastami’. It is the most ausoicious day in Navaratri. Goddess Durga is the mother of the Universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation and destruction of the World. The word ‘Durga’ in sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to over run. Another meaning of Durga is ‘Durgatinasini’, which literally translated into the ‘One who eliminates sufferings’. She introduced herself in the ‘Rigveda’, saying she was the form of the supreme power, who had created all the Gods. Now she had come to fight the demon and save the Gods. They did not creat her. It was her lila that she emerged from their combined energy. Thus Hindus believed that Goddess Durga protect her devotees from the evils of the World and at the same time removes their miseries.
As a Goddess, Durga’s feminine power contains the energies of the God. Goddess Durga Devi was gifted all the weapons by various Gods as ‘Trishulam’ gifted by Rudra, ‘Sudarshana Chakram’ gifted by Lord Vishnu, God Indra gifted ‘Vajrayudham’, Lord Brahma gifted ‘Kamandalu’ and God Kuber gifted ‘Ratnaharalu’ to the God Shakti. Durga is depicted as having 10hands. These represents ten directions in Hinduism. This suggests that she protects the devotees from all directions.
Durga Mata has three lotus eyes. The left eye represents desire (the Moon), the right eye represents action ( the Sun), and the central eye represents knowledge (Fire).She wears a shiny attire emilting fierce rays. Her ornaments were carved beautifully of gold with ocean pearls and precious stones embeded in it. Goddess Durga Devi riding on the lion, symbolises her mastery over all these qualities. The lion represents power, will and determination. The lotus in Durga’s hand is not in fully bloomed. Durga created as a warrior Goddess to fight an asura named Mahishasura. Goddess Durga Matha signified as the ever existent for protection from all the obstacles in life. Durga her self says that she is quick to hearten to the plea’s of her devotees and that she may be pititioned in times of distress to help those who worship her.
Devi Durga stands on a lion in a fearless pose of “Abhay Mudra”, signifying assurance of freedom from fear. The universal mother seems to be saying to all her devotees surrender all actions and duties on to me and I shall release these from all fears.